On June 9, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Senate needs to pass expanded background checks in light of the June 8 Las Vegas shooting, although the facts are still out on how or when the attackers acquired their guns.
Expanded background checks failed to pass in April 2013.
According to Politico, Reid has now gone from promising to bring the bill back up “when it has the votes to pass” to “strongly advocating that the Senate revisit the background checks legislation” now.
“We in Congress, we need to put in place legislation that helps prevent these deranged, these weird, these savage people who carry out such savage acts of violence,” Reid said. “Background checks so that people who are criminals, who are deranged can’t buy a gun.” He did not say anything about the more sensible solution of getting deranged, weird, and savage people off our streets.
Breitbart News has reported the U.S. has had background checks in place since 1993. Breitbart News also reported that Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood, November 2009), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School gunman), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard gunman), Paul Anthony Ciancia (LAX gunman), James Holmes (Aurora theater gunman), and Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood, April 2014) all passed background checks.
Background checks in no way prevented these individuals from committing crimes.
Moreover, when Reid called for expanded background checks after the April Fort Hood attack, Breitbart News pointed out that the expanded background checks are really just the same background checks the United States has now, applied to every sale instead of just retail sales. The structure and mechanism for any other type of checks doesn’t even exist.
But that does not matter, because Democrats know that if they can pass expanded background checks it will finally open the door to a federal gun registry, which has to be in place to make expanded background checks enforceable. The registry is the real goal.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.